Peter Schiff doesn’t like Ben Bernanke. The controversial CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and former Senate candidate raised eyebrows in mid-July by calling the Fed chairman “either a buffoon or a liar.” I called him for an explanation, privately hoping my questions would evoke some sort of pious sensibility for more civil discourse.
What I received instead was a lengthy diatribe on Bernanke’s shortcomings and, by extension, the shortcomings of the government’s fiscal policy.
“God, just look at what he’s doing to the country,” Schiff shouted into the phone. “I predicted the housing bubble and economic collapse in 2006 and 2007. He thought the economy was strong in 2006 and 2007, and said as much. I, as a private citizen, could see the collapse coming. With all the research and data of the Federal Reserve at his fingertips, why couldn’t he?”
The QE3 trial balloon Bernanke floated during Congressional testimony particularly irked Schiff.
“The only way you continue a stimulus effect is with more stimulus,” Schiff continued. “We will not have a real recovery until policymakers realize that there is no painless way to get through this. We’ll continue to borrow to the point where we will tell other countries, ‘Sure, we’ll pay you back, but only if you lend us the money to do it.’”